Chuck Morrell looks like he could have a bass guitar in his hands, playing a summer concert festival somewhere. Maybe live in a cabin in backwoods Montana, subsisting off the land. Do some secretive special-ops assignment overseas.
Regardless, he's got a rough, sort of hipster vibe about him, as this guy who's extremely comfortable in his own skin, capable of doing just about whatever he wants.
For now, Morrell is Kalen DeBoer's University of Washington's co-defensive coordinator and a defensive-backs coach, someone basically taking over for Will Harris, and Jimmy Lake before that, guys who were considered experts in their specialized field.
He's been asked to replace a portion of the Husky coaching staff that didn't necessarily need an upgrade, heading up a secondary that, even in harsh times, has been nationally renowned.
As the new DeBoer hires came in piecemeal this winter, Morrell was one of those guys who elicited a "Who's he?" response from the fan base. The UW players likewise likely hadn't heard of him, but appear to have readily accepted him.
"That's one of the coolest dudes I've ever met," Husky senior safety Alex Cook said. "Coach Morrell will give it straight to you. He won't sugarcoat it."
Morrell is not a real mystery to college football outsiders when looking at one of the more recent Big Game Boomer college football lists. He turns up 49th in a top 50 rating of DB coaches.
Harris, now the Georgia Southern DC and DBs coach, emerges 12th on this breakdown, losing none of his coaching luster.
For those still getting to know him, Morrell, similar to DeBoer, grew up in South Dakota and shared in multiple national championships at the University of Sioux Falls. Both as a player and a coach.
While DeBoer was an NAIA All-America selection at wide receiver, Morrell emerged as Sioux Falls' defensive leader at safety, top tackler and an eventual school hall of famer.
They coached together at Sioux Falls before splitting off to pursue other coaching avenues. Morrell became the head coach for NAIA Montana Tech in Butte, Montana, for nine seasons.
DeBoer coaxed Morrell to join him when he became Fresno State's head coach in 2020 and they continued on together to Seattle. It wasn't a hard decision for the latter to leave his head-coaching post.
"It's really enjoying the people you work for that have shared ideals, shared beliefs, shared culture, and those things become more important to you than anything else," Morrell said. "The job, the location, about where it's at, it's more about who it's with.
"Obviously knowing Kalen for going on close to 30 years now and he's up there with all those things at the top end of the spectrum."
Of the 10 new Husky assistant coaches, seven have received some sort of preseason recognition so far in offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb, receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard, running-backs coach Lee Marks, defensive-line coach Inoke Breckterfield, special-teams and edge rusher coach Eric Schmidt, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach William Inge and now Morrell.
Go to si.com/college/washington to read the latest Husky FanNation stories as soon as they’re published.
Not all stories are posted on the fan sites.
Find Husky FanNation on Facebook by searching: Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated
Follow Dan Raley of Husky FanNation on Twitter: @DanRaley1 and @HuskyMaven